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NSA Continues Personal Data Collection Despite Patriot Act Expiry – Assange

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The US spying agency NSA's authority to collect US citizens’ personal data will remain in place, despite the expiry of respective legislation, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in an interview released Wednesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The US Patriot Act authorizing domestic surveillance will expire on May 31 unless it is extended or replaced with another bill.

“Our sources say that the NSA is not too concerned. That it has secret interpretations of other authorities that give it much the same power that it would have had under the secret interpretation of the 215 and other areas of the US Patriot Act,” Assange said in an interview with the Democracy Now news program.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks as she holds a joint news conference with U.S. President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington February 9, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Section 215 of the act has been interpreted by the NSA to justify the mass surveillance program on US citizens, disclosed by the agency's former contractor Edward Snowden in 2013.

Earlier in May, the US Federal Appeals Court ruled that the NSA’s mass surveillance program exceeded the scope of what the US Congress had authorized under the Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

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